One of Calgary’s pre-eminent jazz clubs could become a cultural casualty as the city copes with the economic recession.
The doors of the Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club and bistro Piq Niq, a venue that has supported live music in Calgary since 1995 without public or corporate support, will soon close, said owner Rob Young.
The major challenge, said?Young, has always been creating awareness and exposure for music in Calgary, but with the business on the brink of closure, the challenge now is greater than ever: “The push is on and the response has been great.”
Young said Beat Niq has helped develop many careers over the years.
“If there wasn’t any Beat Niq, I would not be a musician,” said professional saxophonist Curtis MacDonald, a former Calgarian now residing in New York.
“I caught ‘the jazz bug’ at a very early age seeing live music in the best and only underground venue in Calgary — if it ceased to exist it would feel like home was lost,” said MacDonald.
On Sept. 10-12, Beat Niq will invite some of Canada’s top jazz musicians to perform at a membership gala.
Performing this Friday is guitarist and recording artist Ralf Buschmeyer, who says Beat Niq has played an enormous role for musicians around the world: “Calgary is now known not only for its musicians, but for its venues.”
He encourages music enthusiasts to go to the gala this week to save one of Calgary’s most influential live music clubs.